Waiting Weapon exists as part of the "Blade Dancer" universe, and adds exciting new facets to my storylines. At the time of this telling, Earth has colonized the world of Corven – which eventually won its independence and now serves as a rival in further exploration. An initial attempt to share Me’Auk some three hundred years previously had failed when man’s first contact with the Me'Aukins ended in a spasm of violence. Colonists from Corven are again taking a chance on Me’Auk since the Me’Aukins had fled to parts unknown. An exploratory colony, heavily bankrolled by a conglomerate of corporations, now exists on Me’Auk. This is being watched by business concerns on Earth who are angling for their own colonization attempt should Corven’s efforts fail.
A slight people, the average Me’Aukin rarely makes it to five feet
in height. Deep olive skin, longer fingers, and slightly larger
eyes, are the main external differences noted with Me’Aukins. They
all have black hair and eyes, but otherwise vary in countenance as
humans do. They are generally not as strong as humans, but they are
quicker and have a far superior night vision due to their larger
pupils. Their overall appearance can be misleading – giving a false
child-like impression to those unfamiliar with this sometimes
Me’Aukin language is broken into two categories – the over-formalized and rather flowery common speech (which is all you will see spoken in Waiting Weapon) and a less formal version of speech reserved for more personal family communications. Humans have only been exposed to the former language.
It is the mental differences between humans and Me’Aukins that set the Me’Aukin race firmly apart. Me’Aukin males and females are capable of forming a mental empathy between mated pairs that literally shares their minds. This has an enormous impact on the formation of their culture, and puts them at a severe military disadvantage against humans in terms of fielding an effective infantry.
The core of Me’Aukin society is the mated pair – a married couple
whose blended personalities form a third entity. It is this
combination of the two minds that holds all legal authority in
Me’Aukin society. Literally, one has no “Voice” until they are
married. This blend of personalities is by mutual consent – a
couple can drift in and out of each other’s minds as easily as a
casual hug or kiss.
A single Me’Aukin may often find that the prospective mate most in tune with their mind will also be a source of irritation to them as the unblended personalities “rub” against each other. This feeling can be anything from a mild annoyance up to a temperamental explosion – a “kindling” that families carefully monitor in the match making of their young.
As can be expected, the most honored of rituals in Me’Aukin society revolve around the formation of a mated pair. This is the Blending and Betrothal, where the two minds are merged under the guidance of Callers. The blending is permanent, and ends only in the death of either party. Unless there is an intercession, the death of one mate rapidly results in the demise of the second individual. As mated pairs are as sacred in death as in life, the offering of a Reunion Cup – a lethal poison, is offered to the surviving member if they show signs of lingering.
Me'Aukins divide themselves by clans, and then by families. They are fiercely loyal to both, and conflicts of honor and politics often become roadblocks in social and even military progress. There are thirty-seven Me’Aukin clans in existence. At the start of Waiting Weapon you are introduced to two of the major players in the disastrous failure to share a world between themselves and humans – clans Weth and Maedan. Each individual safeguards their reputations as a matter of honor reflected back up through their family and clan. This is their "Story", and Me'Aukins will go to great lengths to see that it is not stained with dishonor.
Imagine a nano-technology that can be shaped into almost any material you wish, and you have the heart of Me'Aukin technology. It looks like an aquamarine stone until you look closer and catch the geometric patterns that form its networking. Human scientists have tried without success to operate this material that makes up the buildings and even ships of the Me'Aukin race.
Ancestral worship has produced a combination of memory imprints and artificial intelligence that result in Presences - artificially created "ghosts" that faithfully reproduce an individual at the time of their death. Me'Aukins do not simply recall their past - they relive it in the recollections and emotions of those who have passed before them. Presences also have a more practical side, and can be found assisting in the flight of ships or operation of weapons. At the start of Waiting Weapon you are introduced to one of the most vengeful Presences left behind - Meora Woden of Clan Weth.